Freelancing: 5 Hacks to make life easier
This week I thought I’d write about my experience with trying to make my job easier as a freelancer. This includes a number of little tips and tricks that have worked for me to stay on track, get things done and not spend too much idle time wondering where my next paycheck will come from.
- Use a Content Management System (CMS). There a number of them out there that are pretty great. The one I use is called Podio. It’s an all integrated system for handling who I invoiced when, projects, deliverables, and task assignments to help me plan out each day and week. A good CMS will take your everyday stress away once you have a workflow down. Others that work well are Basecamp and Trello.
- Use proper naming conventions for Invoices. I can’t count how much time and heartache this has saved me. Using a proper naming convention for your invoice to clients helps you keep track of invoice numbers, when they were sent, and makes taxes and figuring out how much money you made incredibly easy. the naming convention I use is “Invoice#_YYS_Invoice_Date”
- Create PDF portfolios to send to potential clients. It can help to get your foot in the door if they say, need to take something to a meeting in order to decide if you’re a good fit for their project or not.
- Use browser apps to make marketing, time tracking and keeping yourself on track easier. I personally use Chrome, and I’ve found that using Toggl is a great way to keep track of my time on tasks. Toggl is a free time tracking website and browser app that can integrate with things like Google Drive, Podio, Trello, and many many other things. I also use an App called “Website Blocker” it is in beta, but you can set it up to block websites from yourself for certain times of the day. Lastly I use an app called Buffer with Chrome. Buffer is an all encompassing social media management app that makes sharing posts to your followers on places like Facebook and Twitter much much easier.
- When idle, spend more time improving your website, redesigning your branding materials, and making more things to show potential clients. Marketing for a one man shop is hard and in many ways tends to be based more on referrals then “cold posting” (which I just made up) or paid advertising.